Gas furnace vs. Electric furnace – What’s right for me?
Choosing between gas and electric powered furnace is a common decision that most New Jersey homeowners will one day have to make (or at least one they should have to make – unless they’re led to make a choice based on what’s most profitable for their contractor or big box dealer rather than on what makes the most sense in their home).
Like most investments, the question of gas vs. electric requires you to consider several key factors. Here are some of the most important pros and cons of each option.
Electric furnaces have four key advantages:
- They cost less up front (a gas furnace can add 50 percent to your furnace purchase cost).
- They work extremely efficiently (many reaching 100 percent efficiency).
- They are quite safe to use in the home with minimal training or awareness needed (assuming they are installed correctly). Natural gas is also quite safe but precautions are needed to avoid carbon monoxide dangers
- They can be used in any home, and are not dependent access to a fuel source. Natural gas is not available everywhere and not all homes are set up to utilize gas even if it is available
Gas powered furnaces have three key advantages:
- Gas is generally much cheaper than electricity. This means that you’ll usually pay a higher total cost of ownership (purchase cost + fuel cost) in the long term using an electric furnace vs. a gas model.
- The air produced by a gas furnace will be warmer than that produced by an electric furnace or heat pump, because gas burns much hotter than electricity. This means your house will feel warmer and heat more quickly with a gas furnace
- Burning gas generates virtually no carbon emissions. Electricity, on the other hand, is often generated by burning fossil fuels that generate carbon when burned.